Posted in AUTISM

Silencing the Negative Brain Chatter

I literally write this to you with very little sleep trying to silence the negative chatter in my brain that continuously tells me “How in the hell are you doing this life? Aren’t you sleepy?” There are days that won’t be so great in any parents life, but when you have a child with level 3 autism and other issues a lot of the time you’re trying to silence the chatter in your brain as well as trying to calm your nerves and everything else that comes with it. Sometimes I feel like my life is a dream and I think that has a lot to do with struggling with PTSD. There have been studies back in 2009 that show parents that have children with severe autism have the stress comparable to that of combat soldiers. A lot of you parents I know, struggle through the same things I struggle with. There are the heart palpitations, electricity like feelings in your chest and body, fogginess, not wanting to be around people much, startle response issues, being on guard most days and that dang negative brain chatter.

It sounds like a hot mess. It is on some days. Some days are filled with so much negative chatter in my brain I have to forcefully shake my head and tell myself no, no, no it’s gonna be all right. Besides, the things that Jaiden does now are not too bad. When he was younger he used to stay awake until about 2 o’clock in the morning and then only sleep for a few hours and then would get right back up at like 5 AM begging for cereal and goodnight moon to be read to him. He also would take off his clothes, run and pace all over the house. Nowadays, Jaiden has a medication regimen so he sleeps well most nights and keeps his clothes on thankfully. His pacing has become a bit more slow paced as he has grown a bunch. Right now, he’s going through puberty so there are a lot of emotional disturbances, physical changes, and behaviors that he currently presents with that are not so pleasing to the ear or eye, but we are getting through them.

I sit here parked in the parking lot at Jaidens School and while I am writing this Jaiden is turning on and off the car lights, drinking his morning juice and making vocalizations. I was really happy because he asked me for pizza for dinner today and normally he doesn’t ask me for much as he is mostly nonverbal. I’m grateful that at least he can try to verbalize some things and I’m grateful for the people that push me to continue to work with him as it helps a so much with life and the negative chatter that can sometimes pop up in my brain.

I sometimes think that I might be in a pit of darkness and despair had it not been for God. I renew my mind by spending time in his presence, talking with him, singing worship to him and reading the Bible. Thanking him for all that I have. I have written one book, have a podcast, this blog and am working on a second book currently. I have lots to be grateful for and I pray that God show you all the good things in your life too.

Listening to great pastors over the years has also kept me working through rough patches. The pleasure of working with medical professionals, pastors and chaplains who have a strong faith also has helped me with tough moments and a few have put me in my place to see the beauty in life and look to God always.

“All who are rich and have more than enough will bow down to you, Lord. Even those who are dying and almost in the grave will come and bow down. In the future, everyone will worship and learn about you, our Lord. People not yet born will be told, “The Lord has saved us!” Psalms‬ ‭22: 29-31CEV‬‬

Listening to: Elevation Worship-Never Lost

Latest podcast episode: https://anchor.fm/molisfam/episodes/Silencing-The-Negative-Brain-Chatter-eh9i62

Get Maritza’s First Book Autism in Our Home on Amazon and Barnes and Noble Now!! Putting God first when parenting your child with autism is the best thing you can do for your family! I want to help you to get your mind right and point you to the right resources. My second book is in the works and will be out soon!! https://www.amazon.com/author/maritzamoliswww.bn.com/s/9781642993400

If you wanna go much deeper than the blogs and podcasts are giving you then make sure you go to www.strategies2cope.com and I can go one on one with you. I can give you a free 10 min consultation to see if I am the right fit for you so just go to strategies2cope.com and send me a message!

Check out my husband👉🏼Kevin on his YouTube page for more tips!https://www.youtube.com/channel/UClCgg1lNqI3cmeE4fBHFjvw

Posted in AUTISM

What Being A Special Needs Parent Has Taught Me About Life

What has being a special needs parent taught you about life? What happens in our life when things don’t go the way we would like them to go? I believe being a special needs mama has taught me so many things and it has taught me to be personally responsible for my life and in turn my life has grown in so many ways. I don’t believe that you were meant to be an apathetic person lazy sitting there on your couch waiting for somebody to do everything for you and for your child. I do believe that your child is teaching you how to have patience, how to love more and how to endure trials.

There are two types of changes that take place with us they are external changes and internal changes. People win the lottery that’s an example of an external change your life is now changed you have money you didn’t have and you are externally happy and wealthy. What I want to talk about is the internal changing. That thing comes from within us and it influences how you act in the lives of people around you. The only way I was able to experience an internal change was by letting go of all of the things I knew I could not change accepting my life and adapting to a new way of living. This is important for you to understand because children can’t help but notice what’s going on with you inside and out and they do learn behaviors by example. I am talking about all of your kids special needs and typical. Yes, of course I understand that children with autism and intellectual disabilities have a lot of erratic behaviors and I’m with you as my son is 13 years old with level III autism, a rare form of epilepsy, and an intellectual disability that is a mouth full. Sometimes it’s hard to have a good influence right?! Such as when you’re frustrated from constant screaming, or head-banging, or changing clothes because your child soils them self every day. I believe that God has assigned us to be a good influence to our children no matter if they have special needs or not we have to train them in a way that helps to guide their actions. In the beginning when Jaiden was diagnosed this was really difficult for me because I was always looking at the external. Once I decided to make a change and I started to change internally my motives changed, my actions changed, and my children did notice. You have a responsibility in life to not only take care of your children but to take care of yourself and there are a few ways to start doing that right away.

1. Find out what is your goal is. Do you have a goal to be the best housewife and mother? Do you have a goal to do ministry, to work part time and take care of your child part time? What is your direction in life? Find it, write it down, and start your own path even if you don’t know where it’s going to go just begin today. Map out goals for you to be mentally well, spiritually well, physically well and also well in your work life whatever that may be.

2. Find out where your attention going during the day. Try not to be guided by the aims of others around you and try to be fully present. It really is hard and I have to remind myself every single day to be in the moment. When one of my children are talking to me, or my husband is talking to me, I make sure I put down the phone and I center myself and give them my full attention. It can be hard sometimes, but if you make it a habit it becomes easier with time. I know for those of you who struggle with stress anxiety and depression this is gonna be very hard because I know that I’m guilty of always thinking of negative things throughout the day and how I can’t fix the things that I’d like to fix etc. etc., but I have made it a habit to center myself when those moments warrant it and it has become easier. There are so many distractions all around you I know this, but if you start paying attention to your responsibilities how are you doing internally will be much easier for you to center and be present with the people that you love.

3. Find out how your attitude has been. How are you doing life? Do you have energy, enthusiasm and joy? Or do you sulk, and become depressed and anxious about everything that’s going on around you? There was a point in Jaidens life where every time we stopped at a red stoplight he would scream like a banshee and then one day I got so sick of him screaming that instead of me having a bad attitude I said I’m gonna make this boy talk and I looked at him and I said when we stop at a red light and you don’t like it you can say dumb light!! It was a miracle LOL he started saying dumb light! Now when we stop at a red light I say dumb light! If I didn’t change that I would’ve been emanating negativity to my family and my children and that’s not cool even when your children with autism have maladaptive behaviors you can control your attitude.

Everything I’ve learned from studying psychology has shown that you can change your attitude by controlling your thoughts and have a positive way of living. You deserve to have a good life and so does your child so choose to have a good attitude even when things are not so good. I know this is a lot and I know it takes a lot of responsibility to do these things and to show your kids that you are trying be a good influence. It is so much easier to say “I’m out!” Who you become as a spouse, parent, and friend is a result of your actions.

What do you want to be about and what do you want to achieve? Be disciplined about who you want to be in those areas of your life and your life will change. If you don’t take responsibility now to change you’re gonna end up disappointed in a lot of things, miserable and blaming everybody around you. Don’t be like that person I know that you can make a change for the better.

“They are my people— I created each of them to bring honor to me.” Isaiah 43:7 CEV

Listening to: Anything Is Possible– Bethel and Dante Bowe

Today on the podcast:

Get Maritza’s First Book Autism in Our Home on Amazon and Barnes and Noble Now!! Putting God first when parenting your child with autism is the best thing you can do for your family! I want to help you to get your mind right and point you to the right resources. My second book is in the works and will be out soon!! https://www.amazon.com/author/maritzamoliswww.bn.com/s/9781642993400

If you wanna go much deeper than the blogs and podcasts are giving you then make sure you go to www.strategies2cope.com and I can go one on one with you. I can give you a free 10 min consultation to see if I am the right fit for you so just go to strategies2cope.com and send me a message!

Check out my husband👉🏼Kevin on his YouTube page for more tips!https://www.youtube.com/channel/UClCgg1lNqI3cmeE4fBHFjvw

Posted in AUTISM

Remaining Peaceful And Living Your Life

So how do you remain peaceful when there are so many things spinning out of control all around you? Do you ever wonder how can you even be thinking of addressing everyone else’s needs in your family when you feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders? Do you ever feel like running away because of the overwhelming chaos in your home? I know raising your child with intense special-needs and autism can create a mix of feelings. Maybe you feel like you can’t do one more thing or you’ll just break. I want to tell you something important and that is…Get ready for it…That is to treat yourself well. Do you do things you love and do you purposefully create a peaceful home life? You deserve a life of peace and you also deserve the time to take care of yourself mentally, spiritually, and emotionally.

By taking care of yourself, taking care of your child will be much easier. I know that there are so many concerns that you have as a parent that has a child with special needs and autism. I know that some of you are in a constant state of worry and anxiety. I know that some of you have fears that your child will never get better, fears that you’ll be judged by other members of your family or your child’s teachers, you may feel guilty and struggle with anger and frustration about the advice you receive which makes no difference in your child’s behavior. I know it. You may have a constant struggle to try to enjoy things or relax because you always feel on edge and you might have guilt about what your typical children are experiencing and how you just don’t have enough time to spend with them as often as you’d like. You may have other issues that I have not mentioned here, but I say all of this to make sure that you know that you need to take care of yourself in order to be able to parent effectively especially when you have a child that has multiple things going on with them.

I know that your life is super difficult and there are gonna be times where you’re super angry and super emotional and when we are behaving that way it really isn’t fair to anybody around us. Yep it’s hard, yep it’s difficult, however there are few things to take to heart and they are to:

  • Accept things you can’t change
  • Recognize what can be changed
  • Don’t compare your life to others

Change the things you can by:

  1. Praying/ talking to God about it
  2. Researching what you need to make things right
  3. Executing whatever it is you need to do to create change for the better

Some things to bring calm and peace to your life are: Praying, being in solitude, sleeping when you can, walking around your home slowly, walking in nature, breathing, and as soon as you have a moment exercise, read, garden, help others, pick up a hobby, sing, dance, crochet, listen to music, call a friend, meditate and close your eyes visually place yourself in a place you enjoy, eat well, drink water, splash water on your face and smile, feel the calm, eat ice cream, have a glass or two of wine. That is my HUGE list of peaceful things.

I know for some of you may it may not be easy to do anything that’s on the list or even hang out with friends or even your own spouse as you have too much anxiety about what’s going on in your home life, however working together with a loving spouse or a loving friend will give you strength to handle difficult situations you may be facing.

All of these things that I’ve given to you here you might feel you just can’t do or you’re at your wits end or depressed. You may need help and support from a professional and that’s okay. Please get help if you need it.

Before I graduated with my psychology degree I got a lot of help and even now I immediately go to a trusted pastor or friend when I am faced with difficulties. You may get referred by your doctor or choose on your own to go to a mental health professional, a therapist, pastor, or counselor, but ultimately you have to work with someone who’s going to help you move forward and find peace in your life.

I am an autism family support coach and biblical counselor and I provide encouragement to parents in need and help them cope by providing tools necessary to get them moving in the right direction. I want you parents to know that you’re not alone and that if you fully rely on God and seek peace daily it is possible to live your life and enjoy it. The things that I have mentioned above will help you live your life more peacefully if you take a step and try. Thank you for the courage you have to even read this you are strong and confident parent and you will have peace in your home life soon.

“The Lord will hold your hand, and if you stumble, you still won’t fall.” Psalms 37:24 CEV

Listening to: Anything Is Possible– Bethel and Dante Bowe

Today on the podcast: https://anchor.fm/molisfam/episodes/Understanding-Your-Extra-Effort-Kids-efss19

Get Maritza’s First Book Autism in Our Home on Amazon and Barnes and Noble Now!! Putting God first when parenting your child with autism is the best thing you can do for your family! I want to help you to get your mind right and point you to the right resources. My second book Confident Autism Parenting will be out soon!! https://www.amazon.com/author/maritzamoliswww.bn.com/s/9781642993400

If you wanna go much deeper than the blogs and podcasts are giving you then make sure you go to www.strategies2cope.com and I can go one on one with you. I can give you a free 10 min consultation to see if I am the right fit for you so just go to strategies2cope.com and send me a message!

Check out my husband👉🏼Kevin on his YouTube page for more tips!https://www.youtube.com/channel/UClCgg1lNqI3cmeE4fBHFjvw

Posted in AUTISM

Understanding Your Extra Effort Kids

Extra effort kids are children who demand extra time and effort to bring peace within the family and to have a stable home environment. Usually an extra effort child is someone who has a behavioral emotional disorder and or an intellectual disability.

Last week, I mentioned a book called “No fighting, no biting, no screaming” and it really is a great resource to have for parents who have extra effort kids and if we don’t find a way to help our children it can affect their growth and development. Our children that have autism and special needs and intellectual disabilities have social problems, anxiety, behavioral issues, and mood disorders. There are so many things that in addition to them having a diagnosis create problems with behavior and it’s also super easy for us parents to resent our children right?! We don’t wanna do that, but we sometimes will resent our children when they resist things like eating dinner, doing simple chores or as a family not wanting to go to a certain places or you know they’re screaming a lot or they have full-blown temper tantrum‘s and I’m talking for hours. I understand completely what you are going through if you have extra effort kids.

I have three boys and my middle son Jaiden has a lot of medical and behavioral issues that we are constantly trying to manage and we empathize with him and are always trying to find effective discipline strategies. I know this is hard for you as a parent when your child loses their temper argues with you or if they’re nonverbal they scream, or they spit, or they hurt you and are physically combative. I know that this is very hard and that’s why I wanted to talk about this topic because I wanted to mention a few things to help.

First thing is to have a change of heart. Second thing is to have a change of mind. No matter how hard it is in your home right now you gotta try. Heck! Some of you listening today may feel like going fugue and saying “Girl! What are you talking about? Change your heart and mind?! I’m ready to to get outta here and I can’t do this.” I know you just wanna pick up pack up and leave everything behind you and start a new life. I know how you feel because I have been there and I’d be lying if I told you that I never felt that way too, but there is a strong connection between how we think and feel and how we behave and how it impacts our thinking and how that can effect our children’s feelings and behaviors.

All I am saying is if you’re always thinking that your child is terrible, always thinking that they’re a bad kid, you resent them, you’re going to continuously look for those things and ignore the good behaviors when they have them. There are just a few things that are easy to change, but you have to stick with them. Changing your mindset and changing your heart are two places to start. When you change your heart for those of you who believe in God yeah this is a great opportunity for you to be a model of Christ right now because Christ is love and he’s loyal so when your child is difficult to take care of, when he’s difficult to parent you know you have the ability to try your hardest to respect them to love them give them grace and I know it is hard. Especially when they cannot communicate, they’re breaking things, screaming and things are just out of control. However, you can do this and it can be done if you are persistent with how do it.

Do you want to change your family life for the better? You have to be persistent and you have to be emotionally healthy and physically healthy because when you’re physically healthy, when you’re emotionally well it’s going to help you to have a change of mind for the better, a change of heart for the better because you’ll have more energy and you’ll be able to think more clearly. Another thing that you can do to help your child with some of the maladaptive behaviors they go through is give them lots of choices. Our kids that are nonverbal have a hard time being able to communicate their wants and their needs so important to help them to feel more independent and not like they can’t control anything. Write out important info in your child that will help you to parent. If you have to write it down on index cards and put it on your kitchen table your dining room table wherever it is that you can see it just put it down on that paper run to that card and see what you need to do for them. Give them choices and give them more choices. On that card you can put down why they want that negative attention and also on that card you can put down what’s called H.A.L.T are they hungry, angry, lonely, or tired?

Accept them and try to be aware of a possible meltdown before it happens. You wanna be able to help your child express their emotions in a more constructive way. If you see a look on there face or that they are starting to behave in a manner where you know they will meltdown just try to get into their world. If it’s not possible redirect them to a safe space like their bedroom to take a few minutes to calm down. You don’t get to be a jerk just cause your child is a pain. Love them and be persistent.

Lastly, use medication as needed.

I’m not a medical doctor, however I will tell you that I do use medication as indicated for Jaiden. I know parents that refuse to consider any use of medication and I know parents that over medicate. Sometimes using medication is essential to helping your child be able to concentrate and have less anxiety. We use medication for Jaiden and I am so glad that we have that option for him. Now that he’s older there have been times that he has even stopped me to say “I need medicine” and that is a huge step for Jaiden to be able to communicate that.

You guys, I know that raising extra effort kids is not easy. I do believe that God reaches into our families and he loves our families and he cares for our families and he is a God that can do wonderful works in a lot of us parents to help our kids. Don’t give up on your children I’m praying that God will give you the strength to get through the rest of this week and I will talk to you all soon! Have a blessed day❤️

“For this child I prayed, Here he is! The Lord gave me just what I asked for. Now I am giving him to the Lord, and he will be the Lord ‘s servant for as long as he lives.” 1 Samuel 1:27-28 CEV emphasis added

Today on the podcast: https://anchor.fm/molisfam/episodes/Understanding-Your-Extra-Effort-Kids-efss19

Get Maritza’s First Book Autism in Our Home on Amazon and Barnes and Noble Now!! Putting God first when parenting your child with autism is the best thing you can do for your family! I want to help you to get your mind right and point you to the right resources. My second book Confident Autism Parenting will be out soon!! https://www.amazon.com/author/maritzamoliswww.bn.com/s/9781642993400

If you wanna go much deeper than the blogs and podcasts are giving you then make sure you go to www.strategies2cope.com and I can go one on one with you. I can give you a free 10 min consultation to see if I am the right fit for you so just go to strategies2cope.com and send me a message!

Check out my husband👉🏼Kevin on his YouTube page for more tips!https://www.youtube.com/channel/UClCgg1lNqI3cmeE4fBHFjvw

Posted in AUTISM

Breakthroughs: Teens, Screams, And Everything In-Between

Let’s talk about breakthroughs and when challenging behaviors present with your child who has autism and developmental disabilities. Jaiden has lots of challenging behaviors and what that looks like is being disobedient, screaming, spitting, kicking, throwing himself on the floor, biting, pulling hair, scratching himself and there maybe a few more I can’t recall.

Back in the day like 1700’s they had what were called norms of behavior where there were rules and norms of society and for those people who did not follow the norms of society they were called misfits. A long time ago, they would place the misfits those people that couldn’t follow the common rules of society, in separate places to live in the so called asylums. How crazy is it to think about that they placed people with criminal behaviors, intellectual disabilities, dementia, and schizophrenia all these people were bunched into asylums. I read that in the 1800s they began to separate the criminal individuals from the others and then eventually the mentally ill was bunched in with the people that had intellectual disabilities, however they still kept all of these people secluded from society. It wasn’t until they discontinued mental hospitals and institutions for people with intellectual disabilities in the 1980s where things started to change.

What happens now when our children with autism and intellectual disabilities have breakdowns and a first episode of psychosis? What do you do as a parent? I can tell you a little bit about how it’s been for Jaiden and how hard it is being a teenager with all that he has going on. Jaiden has a lot of stuff going on because his hormones are fluctuating all over the place, he’s 13, nonverbal, has seizures and is on medications. So of course he has frustrations right?! His first episode of so called psychosis was December 2019. The look in his eyes changed he screamed repeatedly, not any of us could help him calm down and became combative.

What we did as parents was made sure he was safe from harm, we were safe from harm and called the psychiatrist left a message for him and then called the emergency room for psych intake nurse. We spoke with a nurse who basically left another message for the psychiatrist to call us as it was an emergency. That’s pretty much it. His meds were changed and he was stable within three days. I know it’s a lot for some you to take in, but I feel who better to take care of Jaiden then his parents. It was hard, but we helped him manage and you can do the same for your child too.

I’ve been reading the wonderful book by Bo Hejlskov Elven “How to make behaving positively possible for people with autism and developmental disabilities.” He explains that nobody with an intellectual disability ADHD or other developmental difficulties are referred to diagnostic assessments and treatments because they experience problems themselves. The actual reason for the assessment is because someone close to that person has difficulties handling the person in question. Ouch! When I read that I was guilty and frustrated because there have been times where I have reacted when I shouldn’t have. We know that some of these behaviors our children have are very hard to change.

We have to except the responsibility and we have to be motivated to help change the maladaptive behaviors. If the responsibility is placed within a professional person helping your child, and they accept the responsibility then the probability of problems disappearing will improve greatly as well. We have seen this with Jaiden too. We have to find methods to change it and I know that there are some behaviors that are not OK. I totally understand that, trust me, Jaiden can get into some dangerous behaviors like slapping, hitting, kicking, biting, and pounding. I can also talk to you about behaviors that are difficult but not dangerous such as him being disobedient, him biting himself, him literally digging in his underpants and sniffing his fingers things like that are disobedient, but not dangerous. So how do we deal with these things?

I’ve been working with some great behavioral therapists and one thing that I have learned is that you can’t remove a strategy for difficult situations without replacing it with a good one so you always have to find a better strategy in the long run. We have to learn how to endure these behaviors and work with the causes we have and step in immediately when they’re disobedient, when they are abusive, and dangerous. We have to figure this out as their parents.

It’s so much easier to blame other people too because we don’t know what to do with our children. Trust me, I was like that about a year ago and was blaming everybody but myself and what I’ve learned is I didn’t want to lose power over my life. I’ve had grandparents tell me just give me a few months and you’ll see I’ll change him, but that kind of thinking is not the right kind of thinking because my Jaiden with all of his disabilities doesnt need a schedule lots of candy and scolding or punishment Jaiden needs structure and also needs to be present with his difficulties.

I know that if Jaiden can behave he will behave I know that it’s hard because he lacks communication skills that we have, he lacks patience that we have, he lacks flexibility. Jaiden will get into a state of anxiety and react because of not being able to be flexible with certain things. I have learned a lot about Jaiden, a lot about myself, and brain development. I’ve graduated with a psychology degree, but as a parent to a child with severe special needs I don’t think I’ve learned particularly too much. I have attended lectures, conferences on mental health and adults with autism. I have learned a lot about dealing with behavioral problems and I also worked in and out a group homes, in a behavioral health unit, but even with all of these things I am still a parent and I still have a child with behavioral difficulties.

I have a wonderful behavioral health team in place for Jaiden, however I still need guidance for how to understand and deal with behavioral difficulties and it is rarely given from a psychiatrist. You will get explanations of this medication or that medication, what works what doesn’t work, what may work and what may not work, therefore we use a lot of working methods and a lot of non-working methods. It is frustrating so I will tell you yes I have experienced lots of problems because I have not had a lot of methods that are necessary to help to deal with Jaidens behaviors therefore I have to learn methods and take responsibility and work with my child who has special needs and I want the same thing for you to.

I can literally go on and on and I don’t wanna do that because I know that you don’t have much time because you’re a very busy parent. I get it. Hope this rent helped you a little bit with your teen with screams and everything in-between. Please check out the autism stress less podcast and click the link below to see the top 20 autism podcasts I’m number 11!

https://blog.feedspot.com/autism_podcasts/

“I’ve commanded you to be strong and brave. Don’t ever be afraid or discouraged! I am the Lord your God, and I will be there to help you wherever you go.”Joshua‬ ‭1:9‬ ‭CEV‬‬

Today on the podcast: https://anchor.fm/molisfam/episodes/Breakthroughs-Teens–Screams-And-Everything-In-between-efgfpu

Get Maritza’s First Book Autism in Our Home on Amazon and Barnes and Noble Now!! Putting God first when parenting your child with autism is the best thing you can do for your family! I want to help you to get your mind right and point you to the right resources. My second book Confident Autism Parenting will be out soon!! https://www.amazon.com/author/maritzamoliswww.bn.com/s/9781642993400

If you wanna go much deeper than the blogs and podcasts are giving you then make sure you go to www.strategies2cope.com and I can go one on one with you. I can give you a free 10 min consultation to see if I am the right fit for you so just go to strategies2cope.com and send me a message!

Check out my husband👉🏼Kevin on his YouTube page for more tips!https://www.youtube.com/channel/UClCgg1lNqI3cmeE4fBHFjvw

Posted in AUTISM

Embrace The Challenge

When we find ourselves in the midst of the unthinkable there’s a response that we can all take on “We believe that good will come from this mess.” You are probably asking me out loud ” How could you even think that anything good can come out what just happened to me in my life?!” When we’ve been overwhelmed by our children with autism and special needs and have been in battles with them often we are so hurt and filled with enormous amounts of anxiety and stress that even normal daily tasks like making meals or doing the dishes seem impossible. Getting any kind of normalcy back in life seems so far away. We become emotionally unhealthy and the deep hurts cloud our vision for healing and peace. We have traumatized souls. However, I know that healing is possible.

I have lived with depression and anxiety before even getting married or having children. When my son Jaiden was born and placed in the NICU I didn’t know what to think. Then a few months later he was hospitalized with having seizures and diagnosed with a rare form of epilepsy. A year after that, he was diagnosed with level 3 autism and an intellectual disability.

Throughout these years, God has healed me, given me guidance, wisdom and hope. I am gonna tell you today to find your way back to God. Sometimes in the midst of a mess you can reconnect with God. At times we can become self reliant and less aware of our need for a loving, living God. When challenges come our way we don’t have the resources we need to bring peace to our own hurt hearts.

No matter how far you are away from God right now, he still understands and loves you right where you are. In the midst of a mess, God can change your mind and heart. When you open up to God you are embracing the challenge and God will use the challenge you face to bring victory to your life.

A few steps to help with embracing challenges with your child are:

  • Write out steps for change, what do you want see happen?
  • Keep at it no matter how hard it gets
  • Remove distractions and have patience

For more on embracing challenges check out the latest podcast!

“As for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more.” Psalms‬ ‭71:14‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Listening to: We Praise You- Brandon Lake

Today on the podcast: https://anchor.fm/molisfam/episodes/Embracing-The-Challenges-ef9cce

Get Maritza’s First Book Autism in Our Home on Amazon and Barnes and Noble Now!! Putting God first when parenting your child with autism is the best thing you can do for your family! I want to help you to get your mind right and point you to the right resources. My second book Confident Autism Parenting will be out soon!! https://www.amazon.com/author/maritzamoliswww.bn.com/s/9781642993400

If you wanna go much deeper than the blogs and podcasts are giving you then make sure you go to www.strategies2cope.com and I can go one on one with you. I can give you a free 10 min consultation to see if I am the right fit for you so just go to strategies2cope.com and send me a message!

Check out my husband👉🏼Kevin on his YouTube page for more tips!https://www.youtube.com/channel/UClCgg1lNqI3cmeE4fBHFjvw

Posted in AUTISM

Read This If You Are So Stressed Out

Somethings are difficult for me to write about and talk about, but I would like to talk about a specific topic that I have dealt with recently in order to help others understand the challenges that severe special needs an autism can present with. Many of you know I have three boys my middle son Jaiden is 13 years old with level 3 autism, epilepsy, Pica and intellectual disability. He is a loving, Most days, however, there is always the unpredictability.

Not very many people will understand when your child that you love and care for how they can without any notice turn you life upside down. A few weeks ago, I was at home sitting on the couch and Jaiden was upstairs in his bedroom playing and I thought he was playing, I heard him screaming which he tends to do on and off throughout the day. This time however the screaming was way more intense. I went upstairs to see what was going on and I looked at Jaiden and said “Jaiden what’s wrong!? What happened?!” It seemed that he wanted to tell me something so I stood across from. The look in his eyes did not look like the sweet look he normally had. That’s when he slapped me hard across the face. I stepped backed shocked, hurt and confused. Kevin came running in to see what happed and I am so thankful he heard and saw my needing help at that moment.

Those who do know me know that I am a mama bear through and through I love fiercely and I also make sure my household is ran smoothly as can be. I just prayed to God to give me a few seconds to regain my composure as I was so distraught. About 15 minutes afterward, as Jaiden and I both looked like we had been in battle, (we had been) I was able to go to him and talk with him and cry with him. 

I had been choked, throat chopped, pinned, kicked and spat at in the behavioral health unit I worked in years ago by patients with intellectual disabilities and autism, and it certainly has left a lasting impression on me… but I have learned to do things differently with Jaiden or so I thought maybe the safety techniques I learned I would remember for sure, but when it’s your child, in your own home, there is no prevention it isn’t foolproof. It’s very very hard. I get emotional writing and taking about it.

I am always on edge, expecting Jaiden to snap at any time. Even a “good day” is not guaranteed. I love him with all my heart, it’s so hard. Even with the five medications he has daily…even with my husband, my oldest and youngest sons sacrificing their leisure time to make me feel safe in my own home. There’s always a sense of doom and gloom and a sense of failure…Some days I feel that I failed as his mom. Especially those tough moments as described above.

My son is comic relief to all of us. He has the most electrifying smile, and has the most innocent interactions. He still loves cuddles, water, Veggie Tales, and something as simple as “tickles.”

When he snaps it’s not who Jaiden is. No one can ease his fears and loss of self control. It’s the scariest and saddest thing to see my son lose control of himself, and not be able to help him. 

I know Jaiden knows how much I love him. I always pray that his medications will stop these outbursts, but I also know that is slim to not happening anytime soon. I hope that with enough understanding research and awareness, kids like Jaiden will be able to get the help they need.

My heart goes out to you parents that’s are suffering and stressed out. All of us dealing with children we love who unfortunately suffer with severe autism know stories like mine or far worse through personal experience or from our friends who share our situation.

And like many of you, I can’t help but think I contribute to his outbursts because I hadn’t sincerely got it right during the day.

How many of you know what it’s like to take it a few minutes at a time. No, not a day at a time a few minutes at a time. THAT MOMENT, when Jaiden hit me so hard. I have a husband and a great support system thankfully, but it’s hasn’t always been that way. So who do you call for help? The psychiatrist, a family member, or a trusted friend? A few minutes at a time. Be grateful for the good moments.

Inside I was screaming when it happened and I might have made matters worse. We need to teach our kids that physical violence is not acceptable. You can be firm, growl if need be, give them their medication and send them to their room. I was lucky Jaiden was already in his room, But as I explained my story above you’re haunted by these incidents. We’re living with a level of stress that most people can’t imagine.

“He gives strength to the weary, And to him who has no might He increases power.” Isaiah‬ ‭40:29‬ ‭AMP‬‬

Today on the podcast:https://anchor.fm/molisfam/episodes/Listen-To-This-If-You-Are-Stressed-Out-ef0eb3

Get Maritza’s First Book Autism in Our Home on Amazon and Barnes and Noble Now!! Putting God first when parenting your child with autism is the best thing you can do for your family! I want to help you to get your mind right and point you to the right resources. My second book Confident Autism Parenting will be out soon!! https://www.amazon.com/author/maritzamoliswww.bn.com/s/9781642993400

If you wanna go much deeper than the blogs and podcasts are giving you then make sure you go to www.strategies2cope.com and I can go one on one with you. I can give you a free 10 min consultation to see if I am the right fit for you so just go to strategies2cope.com and send me a message!

Check out my husband👉🏼Kevin on his YouTube page for more tips!https://www.youtube.com/channel/UClCgg1lNqI3cmeE4fBHFjvw

Posted in AUTISM

Reclaiming Your Confidence As A Parent Who Has A Child With Autism

You may have questions just like me about being able to leave your child alone in the house, if you’re outside in the backyard, or in the front yard. You may also wonder if your child can be left alone with another sibling for a few minutes or maybe longer and you may wonder if you have to have supervised play time with friends. You may think about keeping dangerous items out of reach, keeping doors locked so your child can’t run out of the house and I know exactly how you feel.

I think about those things all the time and have put into place measures to help Jaiden to be safe because of those thoughts that I have. I had to reclaim my confidence in myself as a wife and mom and do whatever it took to make things right. I know you want your child to be as normal as possible and there are times where like many of you I just want to see Jaiden become more independent so I could feel comfortable in my own skin right?! Call it selfish, but I do constantly think about Jaidens safety and how I can help him be safe due to his impulsive and unpredictable nature. I have blown up at him due to my own anxieties and felt awful, but feeling awful and staying put isn’t gong to help us with anything.

The key is to responding appropriately in those crazy moments is not get too emotional which I am guilty of. The key is to get moving. I am stressing less by praying, listening to worship, exercising, eating well and enjoying time with my family. I am learning by reading, researching and with the help of Jaidens teachers, technicians and therapists about how to respond to him in the right ways so his negative behaviors decrease and it is a daily principle. I’m regaining confidence and doing what I gotta do. Notes to myself that I hope will help you too👇🏼

  • Change your life and make adjustments
  • Quit something and start something new
  • Be ferocious about it
  • Change your focus
  • Change your direction
  • Move forward
  • Limit social media consume that which makes you a better person
  • Don’t live to other people’s expectations

Small message to you for the week🙋🏻‍♀️

“For the kingdom of God is not based on talk but on power.” 1 Corinthians‬ ‭4:20‬ ‭

Get Maritza’s First Book Autism in Our Home on Amazon and Barnes and Noble Now!! Putting God first when parenting your child with autism is the best thing you can do for your family! I want to help you to get your mind right and point you to the right resources. My second book Confident Autism Parenting will be out soon!! https://www.amazon.com/author/maritzamoliswww.bn.com/s/9781642993400

If you wanna go much deeper than the blogs and podcasts are giving you then make sure you go to www.strategies2cope.com and I can go one on one with you. I can give you a free 10 min consultation to see if I am the right fit for you so just go to strategies2cope.com and send me a message!

Check out my husband👉🏼Kevin on his YouTube page for more tips!https://www.youtube.com/channel/UClCgg1lNqI3cmeE4fBHFjvw

Posted in AUTISM

The Best Things In The Midst Of Chaos

Have you been looking out for yourself lately and not really thinking about anyone or anything else? Today I asked God to show me where I needed wisdom and where I should be most grateful. I need help in these areas at times and maybe some of you do too.

Last night, I asked my family what are some things that have helped them in the midst of chaos. It was really cool to hear my husband say quality time, my youngest Sebastian say hugs, Jaiden said gum and my oldest said games and food. What really helps me is peace. Listening to good music, sitting in quiet, reading a good book, helping others and being thankful for it all. Even though, all of our situations have changed being selfish will make you miserable.

Get out and get some fresh air, read, listen to good music, hug your family and strive to find good things in chaos and to be grateful for the good you do have. God is blessing you from this day on!

“That’s why GOD -of-the-Angel-Armies said: “Take a good, hard look at your life. Think it over.” Haggai‬ ‭1:7‬ ‭MSG‬‬

Today On Our Podcast: https://anchor.fm/molisfam/episodes/The-Best-Things-in-the-Midst-of-Chaos-ee97o7

Get Maritza’s First Book Autism in Our Home on Amazon and Barnes and Noble Now!! Putting God first when parenting your child with autism is the best thing you can do for your family! I want to help you to get your mind right and point you to the right resources. My second book Confident Autism Parenting will be out soon!! https://www.amazon.com/author/maritzamoliswww.bn.com/s/9781642993400

If you wanna go much deeper than the blogs and podcasts are giving you then make sure you go to www.strategies2cope.com and I can go one on one with you. I can give you a free 10 min consultation to see if I am the right fit for you so just go to strategies2cope.com and send me a message!

Check out my husband👉🏼Kevin on his YouTube page for more tips!https://www.youtube.com/channel/UClCgg1lNqI3cmeE4fBHFjvw

Posted in AUTISM

Medicating Your Child with Severe Disabilities and Keeping Them Out of the Hospital

Over the years, we have figured out what works for Jaiden and what does not. What I mean by that, is medication options. It is very hard when you have a child with multiple disabilities and you witness them, as they grow older, harm other people. I have seen Jaiden be as sweet as pie, but I have also seen him so aggressive and angry that he has lashed out on people he doesn’t even know in public. Its heartbreaking for your child and very heartbreaking for you when you have come to a crossroads and you know you have to do whatever it takes to keep your child safe and other people safe.

I have a great team of doctors for Jaiden in place and I hope that you guys will do the same for your child. I know that it can be very hard at times when your child becomes physically aggressive. However, having faith, changing up a routine, taking breaks when you can and also doing the right thing for yourself helps tremendously. For more information on how to help your child please visit my latest podcast! 

“Don’t worry about anything, but pray about everything. With thankful hearts offer up your prayers and requests to God.” Philippians‬ ‭4:6‬ ‭CEV‬‬

Today On Our Podcast: https://anchor.fm/molisfam/episodes/Medicating-Your-Child-and-Keeping-Them-Out-of-the-Hospital-edv4gk

Listening to: The Rock Won’t Move- Vertical Worship

Get Maritza’s First Book Autism in Our Home on Amazon and Barnes and Noble Now!! Putting God first when parenting your child with autism is the best thing you can do for your family! I want to help you to get your mind right and point you to the right resources. My second book Confident Autism Parenting will be out soon!! https://www.amazon.com/author/maritzamoliswww.bn.com/s/9781642993400

If you wanna go much deeper than the blogs and podcasts are giving you then make sure you go to www.strategies2cope.com and I can go one on one with you. I can give you a free 10 min consultation to see if I am the right fit for you so just go to strategies2cope.com and send me a message!

Check out my husband👉🏼Kevin on his YouTube page for more tips!https://www.youtube.com/channel/UClCgg1lNqI3cmeE4fBHFjvw